Comic Book / Uncanny Avengers

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Uncanny Avengers is a Marvel Comics title, featuring a mix of characters from their biggest franchises: The Avengers, the X-Men, and (starting with volume three) The Inhumans.

Originally launched as part of the Marvel NOW! initiative in 2012, Uncanny Avengers introduced the Unity Squad, assembled by Captain America in the wake of Avengers vs. X-Men to promote teamwork between them and improve public perception of mutants.

In addition to Cap, the initial lineup included Wolverine, Thor, Havok, The Wasp, Rogue, Scarlet Witch, Wonder Man, and Sunfire. The entirety of its first volume was written by Rick Remender, with a team of rotating artists that included John Cassaday, Steve McNiven, and Daniel Acuña.

Uncanny Avengers relaunched with a second volume after twenty-five issues, following the events of AXIS. Remaining on the team were Scarlet Witch and Rogue, while new additions included the new Captain America, Quicksilver, The Vision, Sabretooth, and Doctor Voodoo. This run —also by Remender and Acuña— was much shorter than its predecessor, ending after five issues to make way for Secret Wars.

It eventually relaunched with a third volume, written by Gerry Duggan and drawn by Ryan Stegman. This iteration of the team saw the return of Steve Rogers, Rogue, Quicksilver, and Doctor Voodoo, while new additions included Spider-Man, the Human Torch, a new Inhuman called Synapse, and... Deadpool. Funded exclusively by the Merc with a Mouth, the new Unity Squad operated out of an abandoned theater in New York City, and later recruited Cable in their ranks.

After a brief run written by Jim Zub, the third volume was consolidated into a single Avengers title (along with Mark Waid's Avengers and Al Ewing's U.S.Avengers) for the weekly "No Surrender" story arc, which includes the Unity Squad.


Uncanny Avengers provides examples of:

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     General Tropes 
  • Comics Merger: Volume 3 ends with issue 30, merging with U.S.Avengers and Avengers (2016) to form the new weekly book Avengers: No Surrender.
  • Fantastic Racism: What the Unity Squad was formed to combat. It's a mixed bag in how effective it is. Best illustrated in issue one of volume three, wherein Rogue blows up on Synapse at a press conference over the Mutant/Inhuman divide, forcing Rogers attempting (and failing) to salvage it.
  • Headbutting Heroes: Rogue and Scarlet Witch are not fond of one another most of the time, given one wiped out a species with a sentence fragment and the other was dating her father. This is especially true after Wanda rejoins the team in volume 3, having just been possessed by a demon during the events of Secret Empire.
  • A House Divided: Even when not actively fighting against each other, former X-Men side with their own while the Avengers do the same, hiding secrets from one another and such that are important.
  • Monochrome Casting: A complaint about the initial line-up of the team, and one which Remender himself jokingly acknowledged by calling the team "Crackerfest 2012" at Comic Con. Possibly the reason behind Sunfire's inclusion. It gets slightly better as it goes on, with the team eventually including Synapse (a Latina woman) and Doctor Voodoo (a black man). It's also worth noting that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are Romani Jews.
  • Super Team: The Unity Squad is a team originally conceived as a joint venture between the Avengers and the X-Men. In volume three, the umbrella expands to include Inhumans.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: A common fan complaint about the cast of the book, particularly Scarlet Witch and Rogue, who are both hostile and antagonistic to each other from their very first scene together. It doesn't help that the last time the two mutants met, in Avengers: The Children's Crusade, Rogue was the only X-Men member who wasn't angry at Wanda. Though one Uncanny Avengers issue hand waved this by saying that Rogue became uncharacteristically angry and bitter after Xavier's death.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: There's a reason why X-Men and Avengers don't usually work together in long-term collaborations and it's shown here. Even though Havok is classified as the team leader of their first iteration, Captain America called the shots most of the time and leaves him as little more than a figurehead. When it comes to threats they handled things differently as well, with Wolverine doing what needs to be done, including executing them, while the Avengers don't condone it and Wasp flat-out refuses to work with him. Somewhat subverted, still: While Wolverine is more traditionally associated with the X-Men, he has been an Avenger for a very long time. Captain America's stance on Wolverine's killing seems to vary wildly from moment to moment based on the needs of the story, a fact that he even somewhat acknowledges when he admits he didn't react properly. Thor also tends to side with the X-Men over his fellow Avengers, with Havok doing the opposite.
  • Wolverine Publicity: A few cases throughout the volumes:
    • Captain America was in three other Avengers titles at the time of the original volume's launch, while Thor was in two. Trope Namer Wolverine was also a member of another Avengers team as well as the X-Men. All three of them also had solo books.
    • Sam Wilson joins the cast following the events of AXIS, making this the fourth team he's was added to since his movie debut in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
    • Post-Secret Wars (2015), the team primarily funds itself through Deadpool merchandise. Spider-Man was also heavily promoted leading up to the first issue, only to promptly quit the team in said first issue because he can't stand Deadpool.

     Volume 1 ( 2012 — 2014) 
  • Actual Pacifist: Wonder Man.
  • The Alcoholic: Sunfire.
  • Apocalypse How: Exitar the Executioner succeeds in destroying the Earth and everyone on at the time in Issue #17.
  • The Atoner: Wanda for her role in House of M and Sunfire for his Face–Heel Turn around the time of Messiah Complex.
  • Author Filibuster: Havok in issue #5 and Wanda in issue #9 most prominently about the existence of a mutant culture and intersectionality, but Remender has been using his characters to quote lines he's said himself in interviews since issue one of this book.
  • Bad Future:
    • One is teased in the fourth issue, apparently caused by Red Skull merging with Onslaught.
    • The Apocalypse Twins themselves come from one where Red Skull revealed events from the Dark Angel Saga that led to mutant concentration camps.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The Twins blow-up the earth and get Planet X, however it gets undone by issues 20 & 21.
  • Big Bad: Red Skull. Virtually everyone hates this man including the Unity Squad, the Apocalypse Twins, and the X-Men (Magneto and Cyclops group included), and he's the cause of all the problems in the series so far, either directly or indirectly. It's surprising that none of them have put off their differences long enough to work together and take him down...
  • Big Bad Ensemble: As of issue 21, Kang has predictably betrayed Earth's heroes in a bid to take Exitar's power and become conqueror of the universe.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: Nine issues in and they're already splitting up with some help from the Apocalypse twins.
  • Break Them by Talking: Daken to Wolverine and the Twins to Wanda.
  • Broken Aesop: This is the first real attempt at a team book that has the Avengers forming an alliance with the X-Men in the name of promoting diversity and tolerance for the mutant condition — and in some eyes, it's fallen flat on its ass. Issue #5 has Havok give a speech that could be taken to say, "I want to be seen as more than just 'that mutant'"; however, given the wording, many have taken it as saying, "Merely adopting a cultural identifier such as 'mutant' is a divisive gesture that separates us from others." It's not helped by Issue #9, which features such greatest hits as "Members of the majority don't understand why minority puts so much stock in cultural identity" and "Being born with a certain condition isn't a real cultural identity."
    • Heroes shouldn't kill and giving into revenge can cause you to become a monster. Considering the "you're as bad as him" moment was in response to Magneto, a Holocaust survivor and person who takes pride in being a mutant, killing the Red Skull, a literal Nazi who was running a mutant concentration camp where he had imprisoned Magneto it looks more than a little tone deaf.
  • Caught on Tape: Sabertooth apparently taped Wolverine killing Daken and Red Skull made copies, with intent on showing it everywhere.
  • The Chessmaster: Kang and his various alternate selves. The things you can plan for when you can travel through time...
  • Compelling Voice: The Red Skull's henchman Honest John is an incredibly powerful variant of this. Not only can he make people do the things he says, but to make extra sure his victims don't rebel he also appears to them in the form they're most likely to trust (thus, he looks different to every person).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Thor vs Uriel. Uriel didn't stand a chance.
  • Dirty Coward: Honest John has no problem with manipulating others to wipe out mutants, but when Red Skull orders him to kill one himself, he balks at the idea.
  • Divided We Fall: The Apocalypse Twins goal against the Avengers Unity Squad. It didn't take much to get to the Breaking the Fellowship moment.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Earth is destroyed in the #17 Issue.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Sunfire a.k.a "Hot Sake", given to him by the people of Japan according to Daken.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Red Skull, of all people, has expanded his organization to include mutant-haters of all races and creeds. He himself is still as much a bigot as ever, though, so this is simply Pragmatic Villainy.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Daken, Banshee, and The Sentry after they join the Apocalypse Twins' Horsemen of Death. Grim Reaper gets a snazzy new outfit too, but he's worn black since the beginning.
  • Expy: Mzee is a very lazy one from the Juggernaut.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Daken impales Woverine through the eyes with his claws...from behind.
    • Uriel blinds Eimin to avoid having her killed in a Sadistic Choice.
  • Final Solution: Red Skull's plans for mutants.
  • Freudian Excuse: All of the S-Men's lives were ruined by mutants in some way; one of them watched as his entire village was massacred by the Acolytes, for instance.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Thor decides to team up with Kang and his team of hand-picked heroes to undo the damage the Apocalypse Twins have done by traveling back in time. Havok, Wasp, and Beast do so as well.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Most of the Mutant members of the team, thanks to the actions of the Phoenix Five.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The identities of the team's final three members was initially kept secret, but were revealed to be Wonder Man, Wasp, and Sunfire by the cover to issue #5.
  • Lemony Narrator: The first half of Remender's run used bombastic third-person narration, harking back to the style of earlier Marvel runs like Chris Claremont's X-Men and Kurt Busiek's Avengers. The experiment received mixed reactions and was dropped for the rest of the run in favor of the more common first-person narration.
  • Living Battery: Wonder Man.
  • Mood Swing: In #13, Cap suffers extensive hearing damage after taking Banshee's sonic scream at point blank range. This leads to him yelling "WHAT?!", repeating Havok's own words, and generally talking louder than he should during their otherwise serious infiltration of the Apocalypse Twins' base.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • After being freed from Red Skull's influence in Issue #4, a lot of people have this reaction since they were being used as a part of his Final Solution on the mutants.
    • Wolverine gets one when he finds out that his killing of Daken had been videotaped and will be spread around. This increases anti-mutant hysteria as mutants become depicted as killers of their own children and so a bad future begins...
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The solicitation for #13 promised that the Sentry would kill an Avenger, a scene that appears nowhere in the actual comic.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!
    • Thor enchanting that Axe to kill Apocalypse came back to bite the world when the Twins used it to gather the Life and Death Seeds, dooming the earth to be destroyed.
    • Wanda summoning all the mutants on Earth. She thought she was betraying them, but the twins planned accordingly and she did exactly what they needed her to do.
    • Magneto killing the Red Skull created the Red Onslaught.
  • Noble Bigot: Sentry. He doesn't hold Thor being responsible for his death against him and unlike the other Horsemen, is quite fixated on protecting mankind from outside threats (unfortunately, mutants count). Best displayed when he helps Rogue delay the Celestial Executioner long enough for Thor to slay it and then volunteering to take its corpse into deep space so that it can dissolve safely.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Red Skull has a spectacular one in the second series when Deadpool puts Magneto's helmet on Rogue's head, freeing her of his mental control. The moment she gives him a Death Glare, he bolts in an absolute panic. Not that this helps, as she beats the crap out of him and takes him to Beast for impromptu brain surgery to remove Xavier's brain.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: The Red Skull, naturally. Though he's focusing on mutants, he still makes it clear he's an all around racist and sexist bigot.
  • Poor Communication Kills: At the climax of the "Ragnarok Now" arc, Rogue kills Scarlet Witch for betraying the Avengers, without realizing that Wanda had only feigned defection, and was actually planning to take down the Apocalypse Twins herself. Not that it mattered since things went Just as Planned by them.
  • Third-Person Person: Sunfire.
  • Villain Team-Up / Composite Character: In an overlapping example, all of the antagonists combine elements of Avengers and X-Men villains, such as the Red Skull with Xavier's telepathy becoming a new Onslaught or Kang raising the twin heirs of Apocalypse, who in turn create a team that's a cross between X-Men and Avengers Legions of Doom the Horsemen of Apocalypse (Apocalypse's henchmen) and the Legion of the Unliving (occasional Kang/Immortus henchmen).
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The twins' ultimate goal is to separate the mutants from humans to stop from the Bad Future caused by Red Skull. Which they intended to enforce by setting the Earth up to be destroyed after they got all the mutants on the Ark. Really it could be seen as simple revenge against Kang, as there is no longer an Earth for him to conquer.
  • West Coast Team: Sort of. The team still operates in New York, but they're stationed in Avengers Mansion rather than Stark Tower, where the main Avengers team resides.
  • World Sundering: The twins' ultimate goal, to create a world for mutants to stop their persecution. And then destroy the earth.
  • You Are Too Late: Happens twice in the same comic. The cavalry in the form of Rogue and Sunfire charge in to stop Wonderman and Scarlet Witch from casting a spell that'll bring a mutant army, but Daken and Grim Reaper end up skunking them. When Rogue finally gets close enough to gut Wanda, it's too little and late to stop the spell from finishing. Then Wolverine charges in, he manages to save Sunfire from Daken but he's too late to stop Rogue killing Wanda and too late to stop the Grim Reaper from killing Rogue in return. Big Damn Heroes failure.

     Volume 2 (2015) 

     Volume 3 ( 2015 — present) 
  • Bad Future: At the end of issue 2, we cut to 50 years after Boston is vegantize, with little to nothing left while Cable decides to go back to set things right.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The Shredded Man succeeds in destroying Boston and eventually the world. Luckily, Cable came back to Set Right What Once Went Wrong. He almost fails when Synapse almost Neck Snaps the villain.
  • Big Damn Kiss: In issue #22, Rogue does this with Deadpool after everything he's done to win the day. This seems to be leading towards something of an Official Couple status, especially since it seems that Wade is on the outs with his wife in his own titles.
  • Brain Bleach: Wonder Man was finally freed from Rogue when she absorbed Deadpool's Healing Factor upon kissing him. The two continue making out and only stopped because Rogue became too weak and fainted upon Wonder's release. Later, Beast thinks Rogue was exposed to Wade's power because she finally slapped him and Wonder Man says he'd give every dollar to remember it that way.
  • Heir-In-Law: Johnny, by virtue of being Reed Richards' brother-in-law, is the sole heir to his patents and the settlement proceeds against a large group of IP thieves.
  • Hypocrite: Rogue, a mutant and a long-standing member of the X-Men, for initially being hostile towards Synapse for being Inhuman. And similar when she's also hostile toward Deadpool and doesn't agree with Cap making him an Avenger. Cap calls her on it and says Wade has proven himself, also reminding her that she used to be part of the Brotherhood. She and Synapse become very trusting comrades. And it's an understatement to say she comes around on Deadpool.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Well, maybe not celebrities, but Deadpool is crushed by the real life statue of the RX-78-2 Gundam by the Hand-brainwashed and resurrected Hulk.
  • Poor Communication Kills: One of the biggest problems in the team, due to the Dysfunction Junction with all the members. This ultimately causes them to fail in saving Boston, which ended up causing The End Of The World.
  • Reality Ensues: Issue #23 has a real estate agent mention that old properties of super teams tend to lose all resale value as they quickly earn reputations as death traps. Since villains are never informed when teams move they often inadvertently harm if not kill new tenants trying to get their revenge.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Peter barely makes it 8 pages into #1 before he ups and quits because of Deadpool. He eventually returns on Deadpool's request when Red Skull captures the rest of the team, but insists it's a team-up only, he's not rejoining the team.
  • Sixth Ranger:
  • Ship Tease: Rogue and Deadpool. In vol 3, issue 22, Rogue kisses Deadpool twice, with him telling her she deserves better. They talk a bit more, then we see them sharing another kiss sometime later. In issue 23, the recap of the previous chapter states that Rogue's actions last chapter were a confession of having feelings for Deadpool, and that said chapter was their first date. The other Unity squad members debate the relationship, with Synapse wondering if it's really a thing. Quicksilver thinks it makes sense because Rogue and Deadpool are the loneliest people in the world. But the question of them being together is left ambiguous, and Deadpool ends up leaving the team shortly after to work with Captain America, who tells him that Rogue is not on their side.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Lampshaded:
    Rogue: I'm not letting this Avengers mission become a Cable and Deadpool shoot 'em up.
  • Status Quo Is God: After several years of being able to control her powers just fine, Rogue goes back to her usual inability to touch people. It's because she's suffering from Terrigen Poisoning a.k.a. the M-pox.
    • She's back to being able to control the powers as of issue 28. Rogue touches Johnny with her bare hands to no ill effect, and seems to be taking to wearing fingerless gloves (something she'd be deathly afraid to do if her powers were still uncontrollable).
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Just about every mission has come down to this so far.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Steve tells Tony to hang back and not get involved in the Boston incident, stating that if the Unity Squad can't handle this, then they'll be forced to disband.
  • West Coast Team: The Unity Squad has set up in an old theatre, not that the Avengers are doing much better when the volume begins. As of Issue 28, they've started to rebuild Avengers mansion again.
  • Wham Shot: A literal example from the last page of issue 28 — Brother Voodoo and the Scarlet Witch's meddling in Cytorrak's domain has apparently caused the Juggernaut to appear... in midair just above the Unity Squad's heads... and is falling directly on top of them!

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